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What is there about Miller's presentation of the society ofSalem which allows the girls stories to be believed?

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Introduction

What is there about Miller's presentation of the society of Salem which allows the girls stories to be believed? In the 16th century, the lives of most people were centered around God. Many of the laws of the time were based from the Bible, the Ten Commandments in particular. It was believed at the time that there were supernatural forces at work to cause one to stray from God's path. Ministers and clergymen thought it their duty to purge the Earth of these beings when they presented themselves. During the 1600s, due to most people's strong belief in God there was consequently a strong belief in the Devil. It was believed that, as God had angels working in his order, the Devil had witches working to corrupt innocent souls. If something went wrong, there were two reasons for it: that you had displeased God or that the Devil was tempting you. So naturally when something as devastating as your child falling ill occurs, you would be looking for someone to blame: a witch. As the people of Salem based their laws on the teaching of the Bible and believed that the Bible itself told them that witches were to be punished by death. ...read more.

Middle

The original cause of the suspicion was that two of the girls in the town fell ill, one of who was the daughter of Goody Putnam. Having already lost seven children at young ages, Goody Putnam was very worried for the health of her child. She was also becoming suspicious of how many children she had lost, with them all being seemingly healthy at birth. Goody Putnam was the first to cry witch. As the people of Salem based their laws on the teaching of the Bible they believed that the Bible itself told them that witches were to be punished by death. " This woman must be hanged! She must be taken and hanged!" This left the door open for other issues to be "resolved". " A word about Thomas Putnam. He was a man of many grievances, at least one of which seems justified." Miller portrays Abigail as a vindictive young woman that wants her own way at all costs. With this illustration of the girl, it is easy to understand how people had been tricked into seeing truth in her fabrications. ...read more.

Conclusion

By the time the girls' stories got out of hand, the pride of the town enabled the girls' to be believed. It was impossible for Danforth to believe that he, a supposedly intelligent man, had been duped by a group of girls. "...witchcraft is ipso facto, on its face and by its nature, an invisible crime, is it not? Therefore, who may possibly be witness to it? The witch and the victim. None other. Now we cannot hope the witch will accuse herself; granted? Therefore, we must rely upon her victims - and they do testify, the children certainly do testify". Pride is also the reason for the death of innocent people in an entirely different manner. Proctor knew the Abigail had never seen a witch, but he was too proud to acknowledge her and so left her to face the consequences. Proctor only acknowledged Abigail at the risk of losing his wife. Eventually the girls ran away from Salem, so effectively their stories were never doubted. As in the parallel with the MacCarthy witch-hunts the accusations of the girls were preying on already existing fears. The girls were considered to be telling the truth because that is what people wanted to hear. ...read more.

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